Taddy Blazusiak Wins Fifth Erzberg!

High fives Taddy! Blazusiak wins fifth Hare Scramble

Factory rider Taddy Blazusiak writes Erzberg history with his fifth victory. Difficult conditions means only nine riders make it to the finish, including seven KTMs. Stefan Everts the best KTM rider among the 1500-strong Prologue starters on the Iron Mountain.


It was the 17th storming on the mighty Iron Mountain in the heart of the Austrian province of Styria. And it was the fifth year of the Blazusiak Extreme-Enduro era. The 28 year-old Polish rider has again underlined just what he is good at in this latest win in the Red bull Hare Scramble, the hardest one day Enduro race in the world, both loved by the fans and hated by the riders in roughly the same dimensions. But for this and every other win in the past, Taddy had to fight hard in the saddle of his 250 EXC – to be exact, for two hours 12 minutes and three seconds long. No other rider, also in 2011, was faster through all the checkpoints on the ultra-selective course in the middle of this legendary mining area.


Taddy Blazusiak following his fifth consecutive win: “I’m certainly very happy that I could win again today. First because it seems like the course is more difficult every year and second because we also had to fight with the weather. I made a few mistakes at Carl’s Diner where I lost a lot of time and gave up the lead to Jarvis when I took a bad line. When I finally got out of there I just thought “push, push, push.” Then at the next checkpoint I wondered why I was the first one there. From that point on, I just tried to get through without making any mistakes. I really want to thank all of the team for doing such a great job. Naturally I’m here on the bike every year but without my fantastic KTM team, this series of wins just wouldn’t be possible – Many thanks! “


Behind the second placed Trial specialist Dougie Lampkin (GB) it was Jonny Walker in place three that was a sensation. It was the first every appearance in Erzberg for the 20-year-old Briton. Brothers Ben and Dan Hemingway at fourth and sixth meant they also joined the elite group of extreme Endurists. And if that wasn’t enough Orange, Japan’s bester Endurist Taichi Tanaka, who was last year 13th, this year moved up to seventh place on his 300 EXC. Right behind him was KTM professional Chris Birch of New Zealand. The world elite extract from the start list of 1500 riders in 2011 was made up of seven nations from three continents and once again showed what an international format this event in Austria now has. Apropos Austria – the best national hero landed on place nine, is called Lars Enöckel rides a KTM. Cyril Despres, rally professional, ex-Hare Scramble champ and a returnee to Erzberg was evaluated at 14th on the finishing list,  even though he didn’t make it up the mountain in the required four hour limit.


The Prologue

Again one of the most important events of this hard as iron race was the Erzberg Prologue held over two days, after which the 500 fastest riders qualify for the Hare Scramble. And just like every year there are a lot of newcomers in the field. The most well known ‘rookie’ came form Belgium, no less that the 10-times motocross world champion Stefan Everts, who is now responsible for the factory team from Mattighofen who tackled the mountain in a 500 EXC. With his overall third fastest time of all the participating KTM riders, Everts once again left no doubt about his speed in 2011! While other leading riders, like for example the former MotoGP-Pilot Jürgen van der Gorbergh from The Netherlands who finished in 81st place on his 300 EXC, for many of the other riders, the prologue was the end of their race weekend but the beginning of the party on Erzberg. And Austria at least had something to celebrate after the prologue: the MX-Star Ossi Reisinger won the race and the pole position for the Red Bull Hare Scramble

Taddy takes the trophy

Great performance for rookie Johnny Walker

Man and machine against the Iron Mountain

Stefan Everts fastest KTM rider in Prologue

26/06 2011

Steffi Laier takes WMX victory in Slovakia

Steffi Laier, the only woman full factory rider with the Red Bull Teka KTM factory team continued her charge towards another world title on Sunday taking victory in the WMX GP of Slovakia.


Still not 100 percent fit from sickness in Finland and lacking time training on the bike, the talented German rider still picked up a 2-1 moto result to seal the GP win and move ahead in the overall standings. Sunday’s result gives her five moto wins and four second places from nine races – four from five GP wins so far this season. Only one moto was possible in Greece due to adverse weather conditions.


Steffi rode to pole position in Saturday’s qualifying on a very fast track where the average speed was 55 km/h. Organizers watered the track before Sunday’s motos, which cut down on the speed but made the surface slippery, conditions that suited the KTM factory rider.  But she did not get away well in the opening race and had to work hard to move up to second place behind the Italian Fontanesi. Steffi finally managed to close the gap to finish in second place trailing by just one second. By the second moto Steffi had found her rhythm and while it was again Fontanesi who was fastest out of the gates and built up a three second lead in the opening laps, Steffi settled, went on the charge and hunted her down. The race wound up in a thrilling final lap when Laier surged ahead on her KTM 250 SX-F to take the flag, the race and the GP in front of Fontanesi and the Dutch rider Britt van der Wekken. She now has a 9-point lead in the championship standings on Fontanesi.


Steffi Laier: In the first moto we changed the front tire to have more grip but this didn’t work out and I was slipping badly going into the corners. This caught me off balance and it took me a while to settle into the race so in the end I was happy to finish second. In the second race Chiara (Fontanesi) had an explosive start but

I felt really good with the changes we made to the bike. I was starting to find new lines, I had a good rhythm and I wanted to win, no matter what! I’m happy with this victory in the last lap and I’m happy that there is now a break of thee weeks as I really need it!’


WMX Slovakia

1, Steffi Laier, Germany, KTM 22-25
2, Chiara Fontanesi, Italy, Yamaha
3, Britt van der Wekken, Netherlands, Honda
4, Sara Pettersson, Sweden, KTM
5, Larissa Papenmeier, Germany KTM


Championship standings after Round 5 of 9
1, Steffi Laier, Germany, KTM, 213

2, Chiara Fontanesi, Italy, Yamaha, 204
3, Larissa Papenmeier, Germany KTM172
4, Britt van der Wekken, Netherlands, Honda, 141
5, Sara Pettersson, Sweden, KTM, 126


Manufacturer’s standings
1, KTM 213 points

2, Yamaha 204
3, Honda 141





Laier on the attack in Slovakia

Steffi getting ready to race

26/06 2011

Baldassarri steals Rookies cliff hanger race at Assen

Lorenzo Baldassarri of Italy stole victory on Friday from Australian Arthur Sissis in the last seconds of the first of two Red Bull Rookies races on the Assen circuit in the Netherlands on Friday. The thrilling race saw both riders challenge for the lead several times in the last half of the final lap.


Again, like in Silverstone in the last rounds, the young riders, who all compete on identical KTM 125 RR machines, had to tackle a wet and slippery circuit that saw a lot of them make unscheduled exits. But it was the Italian and the Australian who dominated the race made all the more remarkable after Baldassarri had made a huge acrobatic save to stay on the bike when he hit a wet patch on the track with about three laps to go. At that stage it looked like it was going to be an easy ride home for Sissis when his rival was left behind by about three seconds. Making a huge recovery to somehow stay on the bike, Lorenzo carved his way back into the action and waited his moment to attack. He made his move and they crossed the line just 0.01 seconds apart. The two young riders were racing for more than first place on the podium; the championship lead was also up for grabs and fittingly after such an equal battle, the points are now equal going into Saturday’s race on the Dutch circuit.


After the race Baldassarri said he had been riding right on the limit. “I didn't make a great start but then everything was going OK until I nearly crashed coming out of the chicane. I knew then it would be very difficult but I started to close and then I just took a big risk to crash because it was the only way if I was going to win.” He said.

Arthur Sissis said he has seen on the big screen that Lorenzo almost came off and his pit board told him he had a two-minute lead.  “I just kept going but I guess I wasn't making enough use of the dry patches because the gap came down to a second and then suddenly Lorenzo was going past. I got back at him and managed to get in front but just drifted wide coming out of the fast left hander and that was it,” the Australian said.

While the two leaders had dominated the race there plenty of action in the following pack. It was also a tight battle for the minor place, which finally went to 15-year-old pole sitter James Flitcroft of the UK who won the tight battle against Ivor Lopes of Portugal for third.


1, Lorenzo Baldassarri, Italy 29 minutes 41.125 seconds
2. Arthur Sissis, Australia +0.012
3. James Flitcroft, Britain +16.338
4. Ivo Lopes, Portugal +16.929
5. Lukas Trautmann, Austria +26.455


Standings after Race 1 at Assen
1, Sissis, 116 points
2, Baldassarri, 116
3, Trautmann, 78
4, Alan Techer, France, 68
5, Lopes, 64
6, Philipp Oettl, Germany, 54




Race One Podium Assen

Rivals on the track but also friends

Baldassarri in the lead

26/06 2011

Australian Sissis wins Race 2 Assen

Red Bull Rookie Arthur Sissis rose to the challenge in the second race at the Assen circuit this weekend and slipped past rival Lorenzo Baldassarri of Italy to exact revenge for Friday’s result and again assume the lead in the Cup Standings,

On Friday it was the 14 –year-old Italian that stole the limelight in the last lap to level the championship leadership. Third on the podium was Florian Alt of Germany.

The young riders, who are all on identical KTM 125 RR machines had yet another day of changing track conditions on the traditional Dutch circuit although the track was drier than Friday’s race when a number of the young competitors exited via the gravel thanks to standing water and slippery surfaces on the track.

Pole man James Flitcroft, who finished third on Friday got a good start but Sissis and Baldassarri were past him by the end of the first lap. Then a pack of following riders had Flitcroft in their line of vision while Alt charged from back at 18th place. He shot past Flitcroft at the half way mark to be four seconds behind the two leaders. Three laps later he was on their tail pipes and even briefly took the lead before wear and tear on the slicks caused the three leaders to exercise caution. The fight between Sissis and Baldassarri again went down to the wire in the final thrilling lap.

Sissis:  “I tried to get away but Lorenzo was always there, after about 4 laps the tires were shredded. Then I couldn't believe it when Alt passed us both and that made it more complicated. We got away from him but I knew that Lorenzo was the big problem. He was in front on the last lap, I'd got it wrong yesterday so I went the other side and passed him on the brakes going down to the chicane, I didn't know if the front was going to hold up on the brakes, I think my heart stopped, I just explain the feeling going into the last corner.”

Baldassarri: “It was another great race, a lot of fun. I was in front on the last lap but Sissis was later on the brakes coming down to the last corner, he did a great job. Still I enjoyed this weekend and I am looking forward to my home race at Mugello next week.”

Alt: “It was hard work to come from 18th but when I got away from the pack and could see the leaders I just went for it. I had used the tires so hard catching them that they were completely destroyed at the end. The bike was sliding so much I realized that third place was a good result today and better than crashing on the last lap.”

Sissis now leads by five points from Baldassarri with six races remaining in the season. There is a single Rookies Cup race at the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello in a week's time on Saturday June 2ndat 16.30 CET.


Results Race Two

1, Arthur Sissis, Australia, 27 minutes 05.184 seconds
2, Lorenzo Baldassarri, Italy, +0.222
3, Florian Alt, Germany, +1.425
4, Alan Techer, France, +7.081
5, Xavier Pinsach, Spain, +7.393

Standings after Race 2 Assen
1, Sissis, 141
2, Baldassarri, 136
3, Techer, 81
4, Lukas Trautmann, Austria, 78
5, Ivo Lopes, Portugal, 64
6, Philipp Oettl, Germany, 61


Sissis tops podium on Day Two Assen

Thrills for Dutch crowds

Close encounters on the Ditch circuit
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